and no fear
This is Faye Buchheister
Faye Buchheister is not your average client relationship manager. In fact, when it comes to sales, she’s in a league of her own—endlessly energetic, passionate, dedicated, and driven. Maybe that’s why her team calls her the Mickey Mantle of packaging. Many of them will tell you that they wouldn’t be where they are today without her leadership and support.
Faye is the first one up in the morning and the last to leave at night. She’s friendly, resourceful, independent, and has more integrity in her little finger than some folks have from head to toe. Despite the fact that she’s our number one client relationship manager—not just in her division, in the whole company—you’ll never hear her boasting about it. And that makes her success even sweeter.
Just like Ernest’s founding fathers (or rather, brothers) Faye built her business from the ground up. She got her start in packaging as a secretary for Union Paper Co, where she learned the ropes by doing the work—hers and everyone else’s. She recalls, “I was the ‘Girl Friday’ with three sales people. I’d make outside calls, then I’d go back in and do everybody’s paperwork for them, too.” She was quickly promoted to be a salesperson, and when they needed a new manager she raised her hand. That meant in addition to spending hours each day making sales calls, Faye was buying product, handling trucks, negotiating deals, and running the whole organization.
When Union Paper was sold, Calvey Packaging in Sacramento contacted Faye to see if she wanted to open a division in Reno. Always committed to her clients, she started working her territory from her house (more Ernest parallels). Once again, Faye was doing it all—selling, buying, ordering and organizing. Her operation soon outgrew her kitchen, and she started hiring administrators and sales associates who were as driven as she was. She found a warehouse to move into and officially opened the Reno branch.
Many of the folks she brought on board at Calvey stayed with Faye for the long haul. Her sales partner, “Big Al” Dart, who worked with Faye at Union Paper Co, Calvey, and Ernest, says, “Faye always gave everyone a chance, and a lot of people here wouldn’t have been successful without her. She treats everyone with great kindness, no matter what position they’re in. She’s so good to us all.”
Twenty-two years ago when Ernest acquired Calvey, Faye decided to “see where this goes” out of dedication to her customers and her team. (What a lucky day for Ernest.) It’s that commitment that got her to the top, and her drive to do the right thing for her customers that keeps her there.
Faye loves getting up early to get her paperwork out of the way so she can hit the road and start making her rounds. “I love people,” Faye says, “and I love my customers.” She makes sure she sees all of them in person at least once a week, often more, and has long relationships with many of her accounts that span years, sometimes decades. Faye loves working for Ernest because no matter how big we get, we still have what she calls the, “independent Wilson flavor.” (Sounds a lot like her.)
“All my customers know when it’s Faye Day.”
Working with people for over 30 years has taught Faye a thing or two—not just about people, but also about life. Like how to enjoy it while also doing the best job you can. These days Faye is a dedicated grandmother as well as a golfer, a watersports enthusiast, a traveler, and a chef. Once upon a time she was even a competitive speed skater. (She’s originally from Grants Pass, Oregon.) She’s been to almost every state in the country and is looking forward to even more traveling and golf in the future.
So what’s the secret to Faye’s success?
“It’s simple: Tell people what you can do. Give them true expectations and follow through. If you have an issue with a customer, go deal with it right away—no matter how hard it is. They’ll respect you, you respect them, and you can have a few laughs along the way. It doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about being a team and seeing what you can do.”
Sounds like good advice to us.